The snatch is the fastest of all weightlifting movements. But, it is also the most mobility demanding exercise. Many athletes struggle with this movement due to their inability to get into good positioning. The following exercises are our favorite to improve your snatch mobility and get you lifting more weight!
For a complete program designed to improve your mobility for the snatch, check out our Overhead Squat Overhaul program inside of Performance Plus Programming.
The most important areas to focus on for improving your snatch mobility are your ankles, thoracic spine (upper back), and your lats.
For more help improving your mobility, access our FREE mobility checklist!
Ankle Mobility Drills
Ankle mobility is perhaps the most important area to address to improve your snatch mobility. As I discussed in my article “The Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Overhead Squat” when ankle mobility is limited the entire body must compensate. The below video demonstrates this idea.
On the left, you will see me not pushing my knees forward to simulate poor ankle flexibility. Look at how much that makes my torso lean forward. And as a result, makes my shoulders go into some extreme range of motion. So, making sure your ankle mobility is great is necessary.
My starting point for most mobility plans is to use eccentrics. The combination of strength and rapid mobility changes we see with these makes them a great technique to employ. Notice with this drill how I perform with the knee straight and then bent to hit both of the two calf muscles.
I love this goblet squat stretch because it not only stretches the ankles but helps athletes feel more comfortable with a forward knee position squat that we need for solid snatch mobility.
Lats & Shoulder Drills for Snatch Mobility
Second to the ankles, lat flexibility is essential for good snatch mobility. But, when stiff, we will see a number of compensations such as a poor overhead position and an overextended back.
The combination of an externally rotated shoulder position plus hip flexion really ties the lats up. Add a light weight for an eccentric load and you have a fantastic overhead squat mobility drill with this one.
Band Squat Y’s
I love these to build up the muscles of the rotator cuff and upper back that help open the shoulders up for a good snatch receiving position.
Band Overhead Squat
This may be my favorite snatch mobility drill. Taught to me by National Champion Olympic lifter James Tatum, this drill really helps to open the shoulders up. Put a light resistance band behind your head and then grab a bar/PVC with a narrow grip, then squat. The band forces an active, full overhead position. These will humble many athletes.
Thoracic Spine Mobility
When the upper back is stiff, having a good overhead position is difficult. These two drills do a fantastic job of improving snatch mobility.
When you perform this common drill, make sure you focus on extending your upper back to focus on thoracic spine mobility. Because, if you keep your back slightly rounded, this will become a lat stretch. By focusing technique of this mobility drill on where you are tight, you will the most out of your time.
Upper Thoracic Extension with Overpressure
Adding a light weight to the traditional foam roller thoracic extensions takes the standard mobility drill to the next level.
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Hip mobility is also important to improving your snatch mobility. My favorite drill is the posterior capsule mobilization shown here.
If your snatch mobility needs serious help check out the following programs:
- Overhead Squat Overhaul
- Ankle Mobility Overhaul
- Overhead Mobility Overhaul
- Thoracic Mobility Overhaul
- Hip Mobility Overhaul